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Dear friends,

Plastic bags with refuse and worse are floating along side the swimming children. This is a place ready for diseases to strike. And no end in site. So how are we going to help here? Hope Worldwide will coordinate. Many people need food and water and we received a generous donation of water purification tablets. The tablets will be dissolved in water and the water will than distributed to families who lack drinking water.

We need to find a way to let the people reach their places on dry foot. We need to keep children safe from waterborne diseases.

the school is now an evacuation centre. Children are on holiday in this area and will have to go to school during the next summer break.

Some houses have electricity which is worrying because the outlet and lines are submerged in the waters.

So we will coordinate with the local government and hopefully other NGOs and larger aid organizations will join us so that we can develop a strategic plan for the area.

Up to now we don’t know why the water is not subsiding. Laguna de Bay, one of the largest bodies of fresh water in Asia has swelled over its shores and swallowed the homes of 700,000 people. But why? In the past years the floods would come but the water never stayed longer than a few hours. Somehow, this time , the rivers are clogged and don’t give way to the water. The only big difference in the lake that I am aware of is that the bureau of natural environment and resources removed numerous fisheries. Could it be that the removal of all those fish pens opened the way to a great exodus of the collective garbage in the lake that came to a halt in front of all the river entrances? I don’t know, I am not an engineer, but in the 24 years that I have lived here nothing like this ever happened and we had heavy rains before, days and days of heavy rains.

Anyways, we are still working in Montalban, but our exit strategy there is to encourage all people to go to their houses or build makeshift houses until a more permanent solution can be found. We will then shift from emergency relief to reconstructive measures that will make the place safer and economically as well as environmentally sustainable.

We will look into extending help to the Laguna de bay area.

So now it is time to sleep. Long past bed time.
Let’s see what next week brings.